© 2019 David Parker

The Unattended Moment


This project was inspired by a compote of various images and lines of poetry. Walker Evans' ‘Havana Citizen’ and the work of Robert Frank in the City of London gave Parker the impetus to attempt a series of candid portraits of people on the streets during their lunch breaks. The title is from Eliot’s ‘The Dry Salvages’

‘For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,’

T S Eliot worked for many years at Lloyds Bank in the City of London and his poetry is powerfully suffused by its sights and sounds. ‘The Waste Land’ and ‘Four Quartets’ are shot through with references to the City - his ‘Unreal City’. And being the ‘eternal thinker’ he was, trying to recover what is timeless, he pays a special homage to Dante by seeing in the 'crowd flowing over London Bridge' a scene from The Inferno:

‘A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.’

And

'What! are you here?'

The photographs were made during the winter of 1992-93 using a static camera with a long lens and one, sometimes two high powered flash units, as well as sunlight.